Government warns of wildfires over Easter

‘Condition Orange’ in place because of dry weather

File image of a family looking at a gorse fire on the Hill of Howth. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

File image of a family looking at a gorse fire on the Hill of Howth. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

 

The Government has warned of the risk of wildfires over Easter.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes, who has responsibility for forestry, reminded forest owners and managers, farmers and the general public that “a high risk of wildfires exists during the current spell of good weather, and is expected to continue into the Easter weekend.”

He said the Department had already issued a “Condition Orange” signifying a high risk of fires starting.

Forest owners and managers in particular, are advised to check fire plans and fire lines, prepare fire suppression resources and to be vigilant regarding fire over the coming days, Mr Hayes said.

“Many people will be outdoors enjoying the Irish countryside, from forest walks or family days out to hiking or camping trips. I would ask everyone to be alert to the danger of fire outdoors and in particular in or near our forest,” Mr Hayes said.

He warned that “illegal and irresponsible burning robs communities of vital fire and rescue Service response time, and puts lives at risk by causing delays in responses to other serious incidents, such as road traffic accidents, or a house fire”.